By Dare Esan In Beijing:
Doreen Amata is the 12th best high jumper in the world in 2015. That was confirmed Saturday evening at the Bird’s Nest Stadium here in Beijing at the 15th IAAF World Championships.
The two-time All Africa Games champion failed to clear 1.92m in Saturday’s final to place 12th on the classification sheet. It was her second appearance in the final in four years and has gone on record as the only Nigerian to compete in the high jump event at the IAAF Worlds.
Amata was very efficient in the qualifying round, clearing all four heights before her on first attempt, including the 1.92m she couldn’t cear in the final. What went wrong?
“I don’t know. I can’t explain what happened,” she told Complete Sports at the mixed zone after the race.
Amata revealed she could not get the perfect condition she craved for on the night.
“I was not feeling the whole thing from my warm-up jumps. I struggled a bit in those jumps,” she said.
She was also not surprised she had to clear the first height,1.88m, on second attempt before failing thrice at 1.92m.
“That is jumps for you. When you are not feeling it, there is little you can do,” she added and dismissed insinuations the weight of expectation from the rest of the team and Nigerians as a whole on her to salvage the team by winning a medal got to her.
“Nothing like that. The only pressure I felt came during the qualifying round. And as soon as I made it, I wasn’t feeling any pressure again,” added the reigning national champion and record holder at 1.95m who expressed delight at making her second final in three appearances.
“I am happy to make the final for the second time albeit it didn’t go as planned. I still want to thank God for everything despite the fact that I didn’t get what I wanted. If not for Him I wouldn’t have been one of the 13 best jumpers in the world that competed in the final,” she added and confirmed to completesportsnigeria.com that she would be going to Congo next month to defend her All Africa Games title.
“I will be in Congo to defend my title and be the first woman in Games’ history to win it three times.”